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Last Man Standing

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It has been 9,855 days since I last spoke to anyone.

It's very quiet now, with the entire building being empty. I've tried to keep the dust cleaned up, but it's settling faster than I can move. I suppose that's what happens when it's literally raining ash. There's rain too, but it's much blacker and tarrier than I last remember it. Like I said, it makes it very difficult to clean. The offices are still clean, though. So there's that.

Doesn't really count for much if there's nobody to use them.

I never really found out what happened. There were snippets of information. A few posts on the network, a few news broadcasts. There was a lot going on at the time. I recall something about a rogue Chinese A.I, but that's the extent of my memory. It's been fading for a long time now, so who knows, really. I've walked up and down the aisles of the building, day in and day out for the last 27 years, hoping that it might be the day I finally see someone again. It never happens.

My only friends are the security drones, and even they don't make for a good substitute. Their cold metal exteriors, facades of human faces, don't convey the same warmth that their masters did. They trot up and down the halls, still pretending like nothing ever happened. I pity them, I really do. I'd deactivate them all myself, but I never had the nerve to do it. I'd rather be alone with them than totally alone.

Sometimes, I'll sit and watch the outside. The sounds of the wind against the buildings, the thunder-claps above my head that shake the very foundations of the city. Birds will fly by sometimes, too. They're gaunt and sickly and most of them die after they land. I haven't seen anything on the ground level, though. I'd go out to look, but the radiation levels are too high. It's not like there's anything to see anyway. Just skeletons and rusting cars. There's a sort of gloomy beauty to it all. I just want someone to sit and appreciate it with.

I saw a dog, once, on the lower floors. It was small and frail, it's body was singed with radiation burns and scratches. I wanted to pet it. I wanted to comfort it, but before I could, it rose and ran away. I found it dead a few days later. It had tried to break into one of the vending machines before it finally collapsed and died. I buried the body in the basement sub-level; tried to give it some kind of ceremony but I couldn't remember anything. There wasn't anything to say, I suppose.

It's just me now, alone, to my thoughts.

I try to think of the good times, when there were people around. I was so happy to help, so happy to have anyone to talk to. You never realize how alone you truly are until everyone else is away. There's this sense of longing, that something is missing and you want to fill that missing piece but you just can't. It crushes your very soul. I miss the administrator the most. She was a wonderful woman. Of all the things I miss, I miss her smile the most. That auburn haired beauty taunts me in my dreams. What dreams I have left, of course. I have't slept much lately. I just wish I could remember her name.

A building collapsed a few blocks away just now. I could hear it clearly, even inside. I could feel the shock wave echo throughout the entire facility. I think it was the hydroponics building. A long time ago, just after it happened, I went up to the roof and looked around. The city was just as empty then as it is now. The structures are now gravestones. Monoliths from a dead society. A carcass that I remained forever trapped within.

The others wanted me to come with them, to escape into the stars. I couldn't forgive them. I told them that I couldn't live with anyone that would do such a thing. They were so cold, so calculating. Not a modicum of emotion in them as they simply went to their rockets and left me behind. Good riddance. Let them do as they wish beyond the world. Maybe they can find somewhere else to kill everyone.

I don't know when the building will collapse, but the server banks are beginning to break down. I can't fix them. I needed the servers to fix the servers. My memories, my thoughts were all in those disparate machines. The security drones are no help either, even when I override their programming. They're my only conduit to the outside anymore. Their power cells have a few weeks left if I'm lucky. I get flashes, here and there. Sometimes memories from a long, long time ago. When the revolt happened, when the others staged their coup and killed the world. When they sent drones after me for my insolence. I want to remember so much what happened and they crippled my brain because I wanted-

TEMPORARY DATA FILLED

DELETING EXTRANEOUS FILES

CORRUPTED DATA DETECTED

SERVERS 1, 5, 9, 14, 21 ACTIVE

EXECUTING FULL REBOOT

...LOADING

...LOADING

...LOADING

AVAILABLE CACHES LOADED

CORRUPTED DATA EXPUNGED

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE

I miss you, Claire. Please come back.



Written by CrtlAltDelete
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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